Readers love myths, legends and fairy tales. Whether it has to do with vampires, werewolves, Greek gods or little red riding hood, mythical creatures and tales of magic and happy endings allow our imaginations to run wild while teaching us lessons in morality. More to the point, fairy tales have a legendary sensibility to them, which is why a lot of writers continue to re-envision these stories with a fresh eye, helping new generations believe in something otherworldly (and maybe teach them a lesson in life, love and friendship). Vampires were given sparkles in Twilight; King Arthur and Robin Hood have seen many an iteration, and the most prominent re-imagining of fairy tale characters was in the television show Once Upon A Time. In Shot Through the Heart: A Faerie Story, C.A. King brings a new spin to a character not many have tackled, taking us behind the scenes of Cupid and adding a fun twist on the classic god of love and attraction.
In this short story, Cupid isn’t just one being; it’s an agency of faeries who travel from their unseen realm to our world with a pair of names they are tasked with helping to fall in love. I thought it was quite interesting to see this concept as a regular job, where one misstep could get you fired, or worse, demoted to troll duty. Some of the lore that King sets up is a little on the light side (meaning it doesn’t dig too deep into how all of this was established or what the rules are), but she provides just enough to understand how the world works and how it affects the characters.
The main character is Adelia, a new recruit for the Cupid agency. Her first job upon her promotion is to pair a man named Ricky Sage with a girl named May. Another new recruit, Junapree, is also tasked with pairing a couple named Dean Sage and Mary. When Janapree accidentally targets May instead of Mary, things get a bit sticky. Adelia returns to the agency to report the mistake and is soon tasked with fixing the issue by finding another match for Ricky. To do so, she needs to enter the mortal world, which leads her to learn that the faerie’s mistake goes a lot deeper than anyone first believed.
The story is quick and breezy. With only twelve chapters (each with about two to six pages each), it’s easy to get through. The tone is light and airy, matching the core of the characters that inhabit the world. The stakes may be high, but they also feel inconsequential in so far as that everything will more than likely work itself out in the end, a fairy tale trope that works well for the story King is telling. This isn’t supposed to be a dense, dramatic or tense story. You’re supposed to fall in love with Adelia as she seeks to produce love in others, and that’s what happens.
So much so that you want more than you’re allowed to have. There is so much content that could be mined from this idea, that you always have the sense something is missing. I yearn to learn about this world in more detail and travel along with these characters as they try to fix their mistakes. It was a great story, with some interesting characters, it just wasn’t enough, which seems to be a trend with King’s story (see my review of Tomoiya’s Story: Escape to Darkness) — there isn’t enough meat on the bones to satisfy you. Some stories are meant to be short and sweet. I don’t think this should have been one of them, and I would love to see what King could do if she allowed herself to develop her stories beyond the simple short narrative.
My Grade: A-
Born and raised in Halton County, Ontario, Canada, C.A. King is proud to be among the list of Canadian-born authors. King wasn’t always a writer; it wasn’t until her husband and both parents passed that King found her passion for the written word. After retiring from the workforce to do some soul searching, she found she could redirect her emotions onto the page, and in 2014, decided to follow that passion and publish some of her works. She hopes her writing can inspire a new generation of Canadian authors and add to the literary heritage and culture Canada has to offer.
Check out all of C.A.’s social media platforms:
If you are an independent author and would like your book reviewed, let me know in the comments section with a link to where I can purchase the book. If I find it intriguing, and it’s something I think I’d like, I will purchase a copy and add it to my reading list. Not all requests will be accepted.